Learn from our plenary speakers.
Fanta Aw, Ph.D.
Interim Vice President for Campus Life
Hurst Senior Professorial Lecturer, American University School of International Service
Dr. Fanta Aw is Interim Vice President of Campus Life at American University in Washington D.C. The mission of the Office of Campus Life is to integrate students into a diverse learning community; promote their intellectual, social and spiritual development; and, in collaboration with the faculty, prepare students for lifelong learning and global citizenship. Dr. Aw provides senior executive leadership for 13 departments in Campus Life. She has spent 25 years in higher education administration, most recently as Assistant Vice President of Campus Life. She advises American University leadership on matters related to campus internationalization, issues of inclusion, diversity and equity, and student engagement. Dr. Aw is also the School of International Service’s Hurst Professorial Lecturer; she teaches graduate courses related to immigration, internationalization of higher education, and international higher education policy. She is the 2013 recipient of the University Award for Outstanding Teaching in an Adjunct Position.
Dr. Aw is past President and Chair of the Board of Directors of NAFSA: Association of International Educators, the largest membership association of international educators with close to 10,000 members. She has chaired the board of ETS TOEFL. Currently she is on the board of Cultural Vista, as well as the Advisory Council for the Center for Education Diplomacy. Dr. Aw is a frequent keynote speaker on topics related to U.S. immigration, international educational exchanges, and diversity and inclusion in higher education. She has been interviewed by major global media outlets including CNN, Agence France Press, USA Today, Washington Post, The Chronicle of Higher Education, National Public Radio, Middle East Broadcast Corporation, Washington Business Journal, WAMU, Radio France International, Washington Diplomat and China Daily.
Vianne Timmons, Ph.D.
President and Vice-Chancellor, University of Regina
ISEP Board of Directors Member
Since becoming President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Regina in 2008, Dr. Vianne Timmons has promoted international educational opportunities for students. Consequently, international enrolments at her home institution have grown by more than 100%, and now comprise close to 14% of the institution’s 14,300 students. In addition, more than 200 domestic University of Regina students have study abroad experiences each year. Dr. Timmons has served as Chair of the Canadian Bureau for International Education, and was honored by the organization in 2015 with its President’s Award for Distinguished Leadership in International Education. She has been an ISEP board member since 2016.
Principal and Vice-Chancellor, Edinburgh Napier University
Professor Nolan became Principal and Vice-Chancellor of Edinburgh Napier University in July 2013. Her institutional leadership career began with the appointment as Head of Division of Veterinary Pharmacology at the University of Glasgow, becoming Dean of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine in 1999 and thereafter, Vice Principal for Learning & Teaching and Senior Vice-Principal & Deputy Vice Chancellor in 2009. Professor Nolan graduated as a veterinary surgeon from Trinity College Dublin and after a short time in veterinary practice, embarked on an academic career which took her to the Universities of Cambridge, Bristol and the Technical University of Munich. During the 1990s, she established herself as a research leader in the field of animal pain, and was appointed Professor of Veterinary Pharmacology in 1998.
Professor Nolan is currently the Convenor of Universities Scotland and she is a board member of the Higher Education Statistics Agency, Universities UK, Universities and Colleges Employers Association, Royal Zoological Society Scotland Board, Interface Advisory Board and the Moredun Foundation. Professor Nolan is also a Trustee for the Medical Research Scotland – Scottish Hospital Endowment Research Trust, two animal welfare charities and a Council member for the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce Council. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, a Fellow of the Royal Agricultural Societies and an honorary life member of the Association for Veterinary Teachers & Research Workers. Professor Nolan was awarded an honorary Order of the British Empire in 2014.
Bernadette Gray-Little, Ph.D.
Chancellor, University of Kansas
Under Dr. Gray-Little’s leadership from 2009-2017, The University of Kansas changed the way it prepares students for success, and focused on enhancing research and scholarship across all disciplines. Dr. Gray-Little is stepping down as Chancellor at the University of Kansas in 2017. The university’s efforts included a new undergraduate curriculum that incorporates experiential and active learning; funding for multidisciplinary research on global challenges; streamlined administrative functions; and a $1.6 billion fundraising campaign. Dr. Gray-Little has recently stepped down from her position as Chancellor at the University of Kansas, but the benefits of her leadership will continue to be evident.
In 2013, Gray-Little was named to the board of directors of the Association of American Universities (AAU) and of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU), which she chaired from 2015 to 2016. She has served as vice chair of the board of trustees for the Online Computer Library Center, an international organization dedicated to expanding public access to information and research. At present she serves on the board of the Digital Preservation Network (DPN), which seeks to develop reliable preservation for universities’ digital archives.
Gray-Little is a member of The National Commission on Financing 21st Century Higher Education; the Science Coalition; and Advancing Cures Today (ACTNIH). She served as a member of the National Science Foundation Advisory Committee for Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences and was also a member of the Committee of Visitors for two NSF programs: Decision and Risk Management Sciences and Human Cognition and Perception. Gray-Little was also a member of the National Advisory Environmental Health Sciences Council for four years.
Prior to becoming chancellor, Dr. Gray-Little held leadership positions at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, including executive vice chancellor and provost (2006-2009), dean of arts and sciences (2004-2006), and executive associate provost (2001-2004). She was a faculty member in the Department of Psychology, and served as department chair.
Gray-Little earned her B. A. from Marywood College and M. S. and Ph.D. degrees from Saint Louis University. She was a Fulbright Fellow, a Social Science Research Council Fellow, and received a Ford Foundation Senior Scholar Fellowship through the National Research Council.